Ancillary Revenue

Unscooped Pet Waste: A Problem, a Revenue Opportunity or Both?

by Deb DeRouen

Apartment operators strive to deliver living experiences that are nothing shy of delightful for their residents, and while plenty of communities do just that and seem to have it all, every community still has areas for growth. Although improvement areas differ from one community to the next, there are challenges that everybody in multifamily deems to be an all-too-common inconvenience. 

For example, all pet-friendly communities deal with the challenge of unscooped pet waste. This challenge creates additional costs for operators who have to pay someone else to clean it up or task maintenance teams with doing the job, causing valuable time and resources to be wasted. Unscooped pet waste also substantially decreases resident satisfaction. However, while this is certainly an industry-wide problem, it also presents a revenue opportunity. 

An increasing number of communities are adjusting or removing their pet restrictions in an effort to attract a broader audience of potential residents. That’s great news for both pet owners and operators, but it also presents some questions – notably ‘how do operators track all of the pets in a community’ and ‘how do they effectively enforce pet policies while simultaneously growing their revenue?’ 

Some operators have turned to biotechnology with DNA testing to answer both of those questions while delivering benefits to residents, onsite teams and operators. Operators are leveraging DNA testing to manage pet waste and hold pet owners accountable and also help identify and reunite a lost pet with its owner. This not only increases resident satisfaction and creates cleaner communities, but it also fosters responsible pet ownership. 

Additionally, DNA testing presents possible ways operators can increase revenue. When it comes to turning the pet waste problem into a monetary gain, there are a couple avenues to explore.

An obvious way to position the unscooped pet waste challenge as a potential revenue channel is by implementing the appropriate pet policies regarding picking up after pets and imposing penalties when residents fail to do so. Not only can operators charge a monthly pet fee because they can confidently allow pets onsite, but they can assess a fine if residents neglect to scoop their pets poop. 

Operators are also seeing an uptick in revenue from bringing on a biotechnology service provider due to the overall improvement of a community’s condition. From word of mouth to online reviews, the aesthetics of a community will be conveyed to others. If a community is unkept and littered with pet waste, prospects will not want to tour the community and current residents will likely opt out of renewing their lease agreement when the time comes. The best way to guarantee revenue as an operator is by meeting residents expectations and ensuring a satisfactory experience that leads to the optimal occupancy rates that provide consistent cash flow to a community.

Sometimes it’s all about perception. Operators must ask themselves, ‘is this just a problem or is this a chance to develop ancillary revenue opportunities?’ Looking at the challenge through a new lens and proatively addressing the unscooped pet waste problem will undoubtedly increase resident satisfaction and direct additional revenue streams back to the bottom line. 

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